The Building Arts Group -- Emily Thuss, Barbara Dean Hendricks, Monte Adams and Tommy Adams -- was created to document (through in-depth interviews and photography) many of the talented craftspeople working in South Texas for a soon-to-be-published book The Building Arts of South Texas: Stories of Endangered Building Arts and The Craftspeople Who Keep Them Alive.
San Antonio and South Texas have unique needs for craftspeople. Not only are there historic and even mythic public buildings to preserve and protect for future generations – like the Alamo, the Missions and San Fernando Cathedral – the area boasts a wealth of unique public and private buildings spanning almost four centuries.
Unlike many faster growing cities in which countless architectural gems were destroyed in the name of “progress,” San Antonio’s more measured growth has preserved thousands of historic homes and workspaces; created numerous historic districts; and birthed a citizenry committed to preserving its unique culture and heritage.
Thankfully, craft and artistry still exist in today’s world of architecture and construction and some still choose this longer, harder – but infinitely more rewarding - path.
It is these craftspeople that keep our built treasures beautiful and functioning in a 21st century world. And these same artisans are renewing the soul of this beautiful city as they create new works that will hopefully be preserved, in turn, by their children and grandchildren. Thus, the past and the present continue to nurture and enrich us all.